Announcement – Tennessee Shelter Opening!

We are extremely excited to announce our third shelter is now open, located near Centerville, TN.  We are now across the United States, with shelters in California, Oklahoma and now Tennessee!  Lydi, who was our receptionist at our CA shelter awhile ago, is operating the TN branch shelter and will also be sending out the donation receipts from our TN address.

The shelter consists of beautiful green pastures, approximately 20 acres.  It is quite the contrast to the drought in California.  Hay is the cheapest we have ever seen it, about $50 a ton, but there is so much grass growing that hay is not even needed unless a horse has to be stalled.

Once the TN shelter was ready to shelter horses, it was time to visit a local auction and save some lives!  It was really sad how many horses were at the auction, and even sadder the huge semi trucks waiting to load up the horses and take them to slaughter after the auction.

One horse really caught our rescuers eyes.  She was extremely scared and still wearing the horribly stacked front shoes that are used to make the horse achieve the Big Lick.  She was very traumatized and wouldn’t let anyone get near her.

Another horse was a very skinny, bedraggled, young TN Walking stallion.

After the sale, 5 horses had been saved from the slaughter pipeline, including the two horses pictured above.  Watching the huge semi trucks and huge stock trailers loading up, listening to the truck owners talking about taking the trip down to Mexico, was very sad, as horse after horse loaded up in the huge trailers.

At the TN shelter, the horses got settled in.  This is Chance, a 3-4 year old stallion.

He was extremely skinny and malnourished.

Jasper is a sweet donkey who really enjoys people’s company.

This beautiful TN Walking Horse is Prince, he is definitely a handsome guy.  He is about 12 years old and is a gelding.

This poor TN Walking Horse is Riley.  He is a 9 year old gelding.

Venus is the TN Walking mare with the stacked up shoes.  She was so scared of people that she could hardly be led into the small holding pen at the shelter without her rearing and trying to get away from people.  She acted like a horse that had been severely beaten.  It is so sad to see a 2-3 year old horse who has been through so much torture in her short life. At the auction they said she had 90 days of professional training.  We believe she was dumped at the auction as she was struck in the eye, giving her a cloudy eye and she was no use to them after that.

After awhile, she started enjoying some human affection.  It was neat to see her resting her head on Lydi as she petted her and told her everything would be OK.

She had matching whip marks on both sides of her shoulders.

She bonded with Riley over the auction experience, and followed him into one of the small pastures.

Once in the pasture, she couldn’t believe that she was really turned out.  It was sad seeing her try to run and play with those nasty shoes on her front hooves.

She did her best to show her joy at being turned out, possibly for the first time in her life.

Finally she settled down and started eating grass with Riley.

After a week of settling in and settling down, with lots of love and attention, Venus finally calmed down enough so she could be led without rearing and trying to get away in fear.   We wanted to get her nasty stacked shoes off so she could be more comfortable.

These shoes are some of the most ridiculous things we have ever seen on a horse.

Lydi wasn’t sure how to get them off, but she got tools and started the process.

At first Venus’ eyes were fearful, but she seemed to be calm and Riley was next to her for comfort.

The shoes were quite difficult to take off with so many brackets, straps and bolts holding them all together.

Finally the first one was off.

By this time Venus was completely relaxed and almost sleepy eyed as she realized that the people were trying to help her.

She went from being tight lipped and stressed to droopy lipped and completely relaxed.  It was a nice transformation.

Finally both front hooves were sitting on the ground next to the ridiculous stacked, padded shoes.

Lydi let Venus smell the shoes for awhile so she could understand what she was doing, and that they were gone forever.

It was a beautiful sight when Venus was turned out in the large pasture, running free and being a horse.

TN Walking Horses are such beautiful animals with such a beautiful natural gait.  It is so sad that the show judges are not awarding wins to naturally gaited horses, but instead pressure competitors to force their horses to such extremes as the Big Lick.  It’s time to lick the soring, end the Big Lick and keep horses like Venus from being so abused.

Thank you so much for your support that enables us to save horses nationwide!  If you are in TN and would like to come see the shelter or volunteer, please email us: tnshelter@horsehumane.org